Lanny Keller: Amid school, statue controversies, Robert E. Lee critics should consider his full record

New Orleans resident Russell Robinson, right, makes the Black Power sign next to fellow resident James Gaffney wearing a Confederate battle flag on his head and on his walker during a rally of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Louisiana Division, in protest of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu's plan to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Lee Circle in New Orleans, La. Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON

A Shreveport lawmaker has again filed a bill that would prevent New Orleans from taking down statues of three Confederate leaders and one honoring an uprising by a 19th-century white supremacist militia.

This is the second time state Rep. Thomas Carmody, a Republican, has offered legislation intended to prevent the city from taking down the monuments to Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and the White League militia that attempted to overthrow the state's Reconstruction-era government.

The bill would prohibit the alteration or removal of any monument on public property to a war involving the United States, including the "war between the states," or any "structure, plaque, statue, monument, school, street, bridge, building, park or area, that has been dedicated in memory of or named for any historical military figure, historical military event, military organization or military unit."

The chances of the bill's success are unclear. Carmody and Sen. Beth Mizell, R-Franklinton, last year filed bills that sought to require a state commission's approval before a monument could be removed, but they died in committee. 

Timing may also be against the new measure. The Legislature is set to convene April 10 for what is expected to be a grueling session focused on taxes and the state's grim financial outlook. April 10 is six days after New Orleans is expected to select a firm to remove the statues.

The city's proposed contract calls for the monuments to be removed by mid-May. That would be about halfway through the session.

At the request of Mayor Mitch Landrieu, the New Orleans City Council authorized the removal of the statues in December 2015 by a 6-1 vote. However, their removal has been held up by lawsuits filed by supporters of keeping the monuments in place. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way earlier this month for them to come down.

Follow Jeff Adelson on Twitter, @jadelson.​